Hi Jason, how’s your day? You’ve got something on your lips, oh, it’s a huge whore!
Way back in September 2015 I started this website with a review for a horror film called Exit Humanity. It is still one of my favourite horror movies and one of the reasons for that is the excellent villainous performance from Bill Moseley.
Whilst randomly looking for a film to watch for my run of horror films leading up to Halloween, I stumbled across this, another horror film starring Bill Moseley. Now looking into it, a horror film staring Moseley isn’t that uncommon and he appears in a LOT of movies within the genre, and the same with co-star Kane Hodder, so I knew that I was about to watch people who actually knew how to act in a horror movie.
However, the big drawing point to Old 37 was not the cast, it was that it has a score of 6.4/10 on IMDB. Now don’t get me wrong, 6.4 may sound very average, but for a horror film, especially an independent and low budget horror film, that is very reasonable and in many ways refreshing. Most of the horror films that I review have ratings of less than 5/10, so to see 6.4, albeit from just 141 reviews (at the time of writing) made a nice change.
Also, I am keeping up my average of posting one a day and haven’t missed a day so far, although I have left this one last as there is less than half an hour until midnight.
Back when they were children Jon Roy (Hodder) and Darryl (Moseley) were taken on their father’s perverted road trips to traffic accidents. Whilst there their father would purposefully kill those and lick the wounds of those around. They were both tortured on a regular basis by their father, including having lye poured into open wounds. Despite all of this, they followed their father’s passions and now hunt down and kill those that have called paramedics.
Meanwhile, Catherine (Blades) and Angel (Brandi Cyrus) are trying to figure out teenage life, although Angel soon separates herself when Catherine grows jealous that she has befriended the popular group of kids, a group that includes Catherine’s crush, Jordan (Robinson). Angel is killed during a stunt when Brooke (Alexander) purposefully causes the cars in which Angel is balancing between to separate. Soon after, Sam has now tried impress Jordan by getting breast implants and trying to look more like Brooke, but this leads to them running over an old lady.
As time goes on and the relationships change between the characters, Sam’s mum starts dating Darryl, and Darryl quickly recognises Sam as the girl who was in the car speeding away from running over his mother, and he decides to take his revenge.
Worth the higher than average mark for a horror film?
There are many aspects of the film that I do find worthy of making it score higher than the average horror film, however, there are numerous aspects that I find to be the typical and/or demeaning.
Let’s start with the positives and where better to start than with the opening scenes. Old 37 goes straight into the action with disturbing images and I couldn’t believe what I was watching when it happened. It was bloody, gruesome and intriguing all at the same time. I never thought I would watch a film in which a man claiming to be a paramedic sticks his fingers into an open wound and licks them afterwards. It’s one of those that make you sit up and take notice, it grabs your attention straight away and that is something that I can’t say about most films.
The antagonistic brothers are by far the best part of the film, but then again that’s not saying a lot given what I will talk about later, and they feel genuinely threatening. As the film progresses you see more about their personal history and how they got to be why they are like they are, such as lye being poured into open wounds and Darryl purposefully wounds his brother by breaking his nose and chipping his teeth out with a chisel.
I also love the film’s unique soundtrack and for once I didn’t recognise a single one of the commercial songs that they use, which is something that I can’t say often, and when there isn’t any music playing there is a ambient tone that fills you with tension, and fills the chase and brutality filled scenes.
Having said all that, there are still numerous problems with the film, probably the worst being that all of the female characters are portrayed in such a negative light. No don’t get me wrong, despite being transgender I am not a feminist, which may sound a bit strange, but even then the way in which the female characters are portrayed is almost downright insulting.
Samantha is superficial and totally relies on Jordan’s approval to justify herself, even changing everything about herself and getting breast implants to try and simply impress a boy. Angel is shown to be a follower of stupidity when she decides it’s a good idea to stand on the doors of two separate cars and effectively surf, almost to the point where you say “You deserved that for your stupidity” when she dies, Brooke is a spoilt “daddy’s girl” and one of the most one dimensional antagonists I’ve seen in a long time and she was irritating to the point where I cheered when she was killed about half way through.
Some of the most successful female characters in history have been strong and independent, or have at least developed into that sort of person throughout the film, and yet all the female characters in this film have the feeling like they have to rely on the approval of the man that they’re attracted to in order to survive. They are validated by the approval of a guy who is known for sleeping around and you genuinely don’t care about any of them.
What’s strange is that the two sides of the story don’t feel connected until the final 15 minutes, very much like Mysterious Skin you are fed two very different stories, with a different look, feel and storyline, and then they are brought crashing together in the final 15 minutes through the loosest of loose connections. Granted throughout the film you see Darryl and Jon killing some of the teenagers when they’re in the cars, but other than that the two stories don’t really meet until Darryl starts dating Sam’s mother.
Whilst Moseley and Hodder work their characters brilliantly, I genuinely don’t care about any of the main characters throughout the film as they are shown as weak, dependent on others and worst of all, completely stupid.
The film would have had a lot more promise and respectability to it there been a strong protagonist for you to get behind, but when your main character is someone that is validated by how they look and how a boy values them, it devalues a lot of the hard work that goes into the rest of the film.
It might be worth watching just for the antagonists, but don’t expect to get too excited or care about the people they’re killing.